Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kidd pleads guilty to drunken driving charge, gets ripped by judge

New Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge, nearly a year after he smashed his Cadillac SUV into a utility pole on eastern Long Island.

The judge placed Kidd on interim probation but the stern Hamptons judge didn't let the rookie coach off easy.

Kidd got dressed down by Judge Andrea Schiavoni after his plea of guilty to a drunk driving crash that destroyed his SUV and a the light pole after a night of partying last summer.

"You could have killed yourself that night," said Schiavoni at the Southampton Town justice court. 

"You could have killed somebody else."

Dressed in a gray suit and accompanied by his wife, Kidd agreed to give two lectures about the dangers of drunk driving to a pair of unidentified Suffolk County high schools as part of his plea deal.

If he completes those duties by Sept. 30, Kidd will be allowed to have his current misdemeanor drunk driving charged knocked down to Driving While Ability Impaired -- a violation.

Kidd, who retired as an NBA player after last season, was recently hired to coach the Nets — the team he took to two NBA Finals as a player when the franchise played in New Jersey.

"Because of his status as a professional athlete Mr. Kidd is the perfect person to reinforce the important message we've been trying to send, which is don't drink and drive," Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said in a statement.

Police said Kidd crashed his SUV into a telephone pole in the Hamptons community of Water Mill on July 15, 2012. He was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

Defense attorney Ed Burke Jr., said Kidd was returning from a charity function before his accident. A Southampton Town Police report noted the 10-time all-star and Olympic gold medalist was unsteady on his feet, smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot and glassy eyes.

The 18-year NBA veteran retired after playing last season the Knicks. He was hired as the Nets' new head coach two weeks later.

While playing with Phoenix in 2001, Kidd was arrested on a domestic violence charge, acknowledging he struck his former wife.

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